Yoga Lounge is the third album in Putumayo’s acclaimed series of compilations designed for yoga practice and relaxation. Yoga Lounge provides a transportive musical journey that weaves together world instruments, light electronica, ambient grooves and enchanting mantras to soothe body and spirit. The 12 songs are culled from a growing catalog of music created by yogi-musicians, producers and DJs from across the globe.
“It’s so important to have music that can help us slow down, get centered and savor life,” says long-time yoga instructor and musician Sean Johnson, who consulted with Putumayo on the album. “Music is a prominent part of the modern yoga experience, and this album features some of the leading artists in that movement.” Tested in Johnson’s New Orleans yoga studio, Yoga Lounge follows the arc of a yoga class.
The album opens with the Sufi-inspired “Dreamcatcher” by Persian musician Bahramji and Dutch producer Maneesh de Moor. Bahramji’s travels led him to the island of Ibiza, in Spain, where he began to combine traditional sounds into a modern and electronic soundscape. The next track, “Rama Bolo,” is from world music pioneer Jai Uttal and multi-instrumentalist Ben Leinbach, whose hypnotic musical collaborations merging Eastern and Western sounds are beloved in the international yoga community. “Om Tare Tuttare” features Buddhist mantras for awakening compassion sung in a contemporary style by long-time Madonna back-up singer Donna De Lory.
DJ Drez, a leading DJ and producer in LA’s underground music scene, has emerged as one of the leading voices in modern yoga music. His track, “Nectar Drop,” merges the evocative sounds of traditional Indian instruments, such as tabla, sarangi, santoor and bansuri flute, with modern grooves.Niraj Chag, based in the U.K., mixes contemporary production with Eastern and Western musical traditions on “Sapano Se Pucho.” Maneesh de Moorreappears with groove-driven “Cosmic Flow” that layers frame drum, ney flute, hang drum, piano and a variety of trance-inducing electronic sounds that support the breathing and motion of yoga practice. Reema Datta, another musician and yoga teacher, puts a modern spin on a traditional Indian mantra “Mahamrtyunjaya Mantra.” French producer and composer Ferenz Kallos adds string arrangements to support the rhythmic vibration of the mantra, intended to protect, guide, heal and rejuvenate. Next comes “Evening Star (Early Mix)” by Australian Martin Kennedy’s band All India Radio, a down tempo song that features ambient guitar and atmospheric electronic flourishes. New Orleans-based world music trio Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band’s “Peace Song” includes chants of peace in different languages and is a response to the conflicts between people of different religions, races and ideologies.
The closing cool-down phase of Yoga Lounge begins with South African guitarist Stevin McNamara’s “Prajna’s Dream (Remix)” a raga-inspired instrumental piece that soothes and inspires. German-Mexican husband and wife duo Mirabai Ceiba’s “Ra Ma Da Sa (Putumayo Version)” is a moving and meditative song featuring a healing mantra from the Kundalini Yoga tradition. The journey closes with MC Yogi’s “Shanti (Peace Out)” a meditative song with electronic drones and traditional Indian vocals by Rita Sahai that is ideal for accompanying savasana, the closing rest and relaxation stage of yoga practice.
Whether you’re a yogi who wants to move more gracefully through your practice or are simply seeking a relaxing soundtrack for day-to-day life, Yoga Lounge is ideal.